GARY ANDERSON claimed his fifth PDC title of 2018 with a 6-5 win over Gabriel Clemens in the final of Players Championship 11 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes on Saturday.
The two-time World Champion held his nerve in a thrilling deciding leg to complete a miraculous comeback from 4-1 down against Clemens, who was playing in his first PDC ProTour final.
Anderson recorded wins over Josh Payne, Peter Hudson, Jermaine Wattimena, Ryan Joyce, Adrian Lewis, Darren Webster and Clemens en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.
March’s Coral UK Open champion had already won two Players Championship events in 2018, before making it a hat-trick of victories in Saturday’s Players Championship 11 to bounce back from his semi-final loss to Michael Smith in the Unibet Premier League on Thursday.
“It was a hard old day but I’m happy to get the win,” said Anderson, who will face Clemens again on Friday in the first round of the German Darts Masters.
“Gabriel made me work hard for that win, I had to fight right until the end so I’m pleased that I managed to scrap out the result.
“On Thursday in the Premier League it felt like there was nothing there so to win today was a good way for me to put that behind me.
“Now I’m going to focus on winning more titles this year and I’ll see how far I can go in the big tournaments.”
Anderson broke the Clemens throw in the opening leg of the final with an impressive 14-dart leg before the German broke straight back to level the match.
Clemens then rattled off the next three legs to take a commanding 4-1 lead as he dreamed of landing his maiden PDC title.
However, Anderson roared back with two more 14-darters and a 15-darter to level the pulsating tie at 4-4.
Clemens held throw to regain the lead and go within a leg of glory, only for Anderson to take the final two legs in thrilling fashion, surviving two-match darts from Clemens to seal the title.
Clemens impressed throughout the day at Arena MK as he claimed a series of impressive scalps.
The German ace edged past Richard North 6-5 in his opening game of the day, before seeing off Steve Hine, Simon Whitlock, Paul Nicholson, Brendan Dolan and Peter Wright to book his place in the final.
Elsewhere, World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney went down to Lewis in the last 16, while Mensur Suljovic was defeated by Paul Nicholson in the second round.
Dave Chisnall lost 6-1 to Ricky Evans in the last 16, Michael Smith went out at the quarter-final stage to Darren Webster and James Wade suffered a first round exit at the hands of Richie Burnett.
The Players Championship weekend will continue tomorrow with Player Championship Twelve at Arena in Milton Keynes and will be streamed live on PDCTV-HD.
Players Championship 11
Saturday May 19, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Peter Wright 6-1 Adam Hunt
Ricky Evans 6-1 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Michael Barnard
Michael Smith 6-0 Benito van de Pas
Darren Webster 6-2 Danny Noppert
Gary Anderson 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright 6-1 Ricky Evans
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Darren Webster 6-4 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 6-5 Darren Webster
Gary Anderson 6-5 Gabriel Clemens